WASHINGTON — Half a million federal buildings are under orders to cut their air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by one-third.

A new Executive Order tells building mangers to cut emissions by 30% below 1990 levels by 2010, far stricter than the overall emissions the administration has pledged to take under the Kyoto global warming agreement.

The President also will call for the federal government to cut its energy use by 35% by 2020, expanding the current goal of a 30% drop in energy consumption by 2005, while saving $1 billion in the process.

Federal buildings are energy hogs, using about 32% more energy per square foot than the average private sector building, while spending $4.2 billion annually for power and fuel.

Most affected will be the Defense Department, which accounts for 75% of energy used by the federal government.

Viron-Pepco contract

The Department of Defense intends to award the federal government’s largest energy-saving performance contract ever to Viron Energy Services and Pepco Energy Services.

Viron Energy Services is a subsidiary of York International Corp., York, Pa. Pepco Energy Services is a subsidiary of Potomac Electric Power Co., Washington, D.C.

The 18-year, $200 million contract will implement energy-saving measures for the Military District of Washington (MDW). The MDW is a major Army command encompassing five Army posts. More than 2,100 buildings were examined for energy improvements.

Viron and Pepco Energy Services will provide energy engineering, equipment installation, construction supervision, maintenance, operations, and monitoring over the contract’s term to produce energy savings that will pay for these improvements.

The energy-saving measures will cover a range of technologies, including lighting, building envelope, building automation systems, chillers, controls, hvac, boilers, and water conservation. Some of the energy-saving measures will include the following.

  • A total of 888 cooling units will be replaced or retrofitted, cutting energy use in 343 buildings and reducing associated energy costs by more than $1 million annually.

  • Replacement and retrofitting of air-handling units in 126 buildings will reduce energy consumption by 14 million kWh. This will mean annual savings of $742,000.

  • Two central steam plants will be replaced with new gas-fired boilers, saving $655,000 annually. And,

  • A new absorption chiller and chilled-water distribution line will be installed at one site, saving approximately 270,000 kWh and $21,000 annually.